Elerium


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#41 Zombie

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 08:04 PM

NKF, on Mar 12 2004, 03:27 AM, said:

The only exception being alien bases, where the module with two power units only has 1 power unit that is powered. (I don't know if the unique cydonia base module (which you cannot access) is powered or not, not that it matters)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Recently, I decided to remove a few alien bases from my game because of the constant drain on my funds. As per normal operating procedures, I sent my elite Psi-squad in because they make short work of missions like this. After my men cleaned up one base, I wrote down how much Elerium they recovered as well as the number of Power Sources. Base #1: 2 Power Sources, and 50 Elerium-115. So this verifies that one Power Source module has 2 Power Sources, while only one has Elerium.

Okay, now I send my troops to clean up a second base.
Base #2: 4 Power Sources, and 150 Elerium-115. Huh? Shouldn't it be 100 Elerium because each Power Source module has one Elerium-free power source?
Example:
PS module#1 - PS1 (powered with 50 Elerium), PS2 (unpowered). Total = 50 Eleruim
PS module#2 - PS1 (powered with 50 Elerium), PS2 (unpowered). Total = 50 Eleruim
Grand total: 100 Elerium.

I guess not. From what my reloads have shown, only one Power Source in an entire base is unpowered.  :swoon:
Example:
PS module#1 - PS1 (powered with 50 Elerium), PS2 (unpowered). Total = 50 Eleruim
PS module#2 - PS1 (powered with 50 Elerium), PS2 (powered with 50 elerium). Total = 100 Eleruim
Grand total: 150 Elerium.

Granted, this is just for 2 PS modules in a base. You can have up to 4 PS modules in an alien base for a total of 8 power sources. Theoretically, seven would be powered with Elerium, while the 8th is unpowered. I'm still working on this, but preliminary data suggests this result.  :blush:

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#42 Jasonred

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 06:59 PM

Okay, and here are some interesting? points and theories.

1. The alien ships DO have a stockpile of E115. Or rather, HAD a stockpile of it. They used it all up getting from Mars to Earth in the first place. The 50 units per Power Source is all that's LEFT.

2. Eh, X-com scientists are good, but they're not THAT good... Our ships are only able to utilize a fraction of the efficiency that the Alien ships have. Compare the mass of an Avenger vs a Battleship, and the number of power sources, and their top speeds and acceleration. ... MAN! Inferior!

3. On the other hand, it could just be that our crafts concentrate on Shielding and weapons, whereas alien craft concentrate on fuel efficiency. Since an Avenger can go 1v1 with Battleship. Hmm. And our Plasma Cannons seem GREAT! Better than original tech!

4. The aliens actually destroy all Elerium that they have in their storage as soon as X-com attacks their ships. Like a steam train of old, the Power source is usually constantly being topped up at 50 E115 as it goes around. Heck, their engineers must do SOMETHING right? Also, it explains why their fuel is ALWAYS 50 per power source, regardless of how long or far they've flown.


Of all of these, 4 seems the most likely to me. (other than the "plain old game design" explanation...)

#43 Zombie

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 11:32 PM

Jasonred, on Aug 12 2005, 01:59 PM, said:

2. Eh, X-com scientists are good, but they're not THAT good... Our ships are only able to utilize a fraction of the efficiency that the Alien ships have. Compare the mass of an Avenger vs a Battleship, and the number of power sources, and their top speeds and acceleration. ... MAN! Inferior!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Look at it this way. The Avenger has 2 power sources and can go 5400 knots. The only UFO's with 2 power sources are the Harvester (4000 knots) and the Abductor (4300 knots). Both are slightly wider than an Avenger. Now look at the number of levels each ship occupies: 3 for Harvester, 2 for Abductor, and either 2 or 1 for the Avenger (one level of the Avenger is where almost all of the mass resides). Take these facts into consideration and you can see that the Avenger isn't too far off in terms of efficiency.

Comparing the Avenger to the Battleship is like comparing apples to oranges. The battleship has 4 power sources; yet can only manage 5000 knots. Hmmm. Why don't we look at the number of knots each craft can manage per power source:

Craft            Speed     Engines     Speed/Engine
Small Scout       2200        0            N.A.
Medium Scout      2400        1            2400
Large Scout       2700        1            2700
Harvester         4000        2            2000
Abductor          4300        2            2150
Terror Ship       4800        4            1200
Battleship        5000        4            1250
Supply Ship       3200        3            1067
Avenger           5400        2            2700
The Avenger is one of the top-performing craft at speed per engine. True, the Battleship must lug around much more weight than an Avenger does (in fact, the Battleship is 3 times larger). Therefore, the Battleship should get about 3750 knots per engine for a total craft speed of 15000 knots if reduced to the size of an Avenger.

Still, the Avenger is faster than any 2-power source UFO's out there. Actually, it is the fastest ship in X-COM. Period.  :blush:

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#44 Zombie

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 02:09 AM

Let me get back to the discussion about an alien base and the power sources contained within that special module. Just so that we all know which module I am talking about, I took a couple of map-level pics. The first is a pic taken of Level 0 showing the corridor leading up to (via the red lift in the center) the 4 rooms. The southern doorway upstairs leads to the Power Source chamber. The second pic shows the Level 1 view where the Power Sources are located.

PSM_Level_0.png PSM_Level_1.png


The yellow squares/large yellow circles are the locations of my soldiers/HWP's across the alien base. In the second pic, please take note of the two Power Sources: the lower one doesn't have a white cross signifying that it is unpowered and Elerium-free. :)

For a better view, I took a battlescape pic showing the reactors. Take special care to look at the plate at the bottom of each Power Source (zoom in if you have to). The unpowered one has 3 small purple/pink dots, while the powered one has a big purple dot plus a small pink one:

Power_Sources.png


And the final pic for today is taken after I shot out the reactors with a Heavy Plasma.

Power_Sources___Elerium.png


Again, look at the Power Sources. See the purple dot in the center of what is left of the top reactor? That's the Elerium. Pick it up and the purple sphere is actually yellow crystals. Cool!  :blush:

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#45 Zombie

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 12:41 AM

View PostZombie, on 21 March 2004 - 07:40 AM, said:

Back to the Elerium thread: I just read a very interesting article in the April 2004 edition of Scientific American magazine pertaining to Elerium-115 (element 115).  In a joint venture between Russian scientists at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna and scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, element 115 was successfully created! They made element 115 by colliding calcium 48 (20 protons) with americium 243 (95 protons). 95+20=115! Element 115 has a somewhat short lifespan of 90 milliseconds and spontaneously decays into element 113 by releasing a helium nucleus (2 protons).

Yes, I realize this is a necro, but I have some new info on element 115. Apparently another group of researchers recently synthesized some ununpentium which leads to credibility of the original team and now there is talk about the possibility of a proper name for the element. Here's an interesting video on it from periodicvideos:



I of course vote for Elerium. There can't be another name. Posted Image

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#46 Space Voyager

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 06:22 AM

So why didn't you post that? Or has it been buried already?

#47 Zombie

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 01:45 AM

Post what? I don't quite follow you SV. Please explain. Posted Image

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#48 Space Voyager

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 06:53 AM

Oh, I was vague, sorry. Why didn't you post "a demand" for naming it Elerium in the YT comments? I did it for us all. Not that it would have an impact, just for fun.

#49 Zombie

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 02:02 PM

Oh, I did of course post Elerium in the comments (my YouTube channel name is GrongnardOfXCOM). Elerium was mentioned a few times already before and after my post so there are quite a few people out there who like the name. :)

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#50 Sgt. Strike

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:37 AM

I am going to throw out a few ideas, and to check to see if I'm correct in thinking, etc. I want to address several things in this post. I do not have the game installed, so I can't look myself. However, I am pretty sure I will be correct on some things.

Given that time is a factor to the game. And that there have been UFO's that have been shot down, over time, who is to say that not all have been spotted, much less shot down? And have joined up and formed bases to operate from, and more? This I need checked, please. Is there a base, by the aliens, set down somewhere, on the first, of the first month, in the game? If so, then see part two.

Following up on my previous point, is if there is a base, and alien material all around is available by stripping parts of their ships to build a base, and then smaller ships. And typically you see small ships at first, no matter the difficulty. Small scout first, then medium sized to large. My thought, and then question, is this, could it be possible that the ships that were shot down, in the previous point, were small sized scout ships, that were possible part of a large fleet, and that fleet was what actually got onto earth, and they used the fleet to build smaller craft, weapons, etc. at first, while Mars was sending reinforcement waves, that we didn't see at all?

My next point is a bit of a tough one. Could it be that the aliens, and then the humans, use one of two, or even both methods, of getting to Earth? Allow me to explain in depth. One method is that the aliens coming to Earth, and the humans going to Mars, are placed in a suspended animation type thing, and the ship, with a decent, and careful, AI, then guides the ship, with help from it's parent planet, to the planet it needs to get to. Of course, this would be a craft capable of getting to, and maintaining, almost light speed. The reason I say AI is that no human, or most aliens, can't handle the amount of g forces involved. There are other things to also add to this. And I could go one about various methods. I just covered the simplest one. Think of slingshot here, as well.
Second method to getting to Mars, or Earth, is using faster than light. Not instantaneous, but it can be faster than the previous method. And may not need the preparation that the previous method needs.
I could be wrong, or things go different, etc. on how they are getting to their respective planets, but I am throwing some ideas out.
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#51 silencer_pl

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 07:16 AM

Posted Image
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#52 Space Voyager

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 08:43 AM

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#53 Zombie

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 05:54 AM

View PostSgt. Strike, on 09 September 2013 - 06:37 AM, said:

Given that time is a factor to the game. And that there have been UFO's that have been shot down, over time, who is to say that not all have been spotted, much less shot down? And have joined up and formed bases to operate from, and more? This I need checked, please. Is there a base, by the aliens, set down somewhere, on the first, of the first month, in the game? If so, then see part two.

Nope, an alien base isn't magically placed on the globe somewhere at the beginning of the game.

View PostSgt. Strike, on 09 September 2013 - 06:37 AM, said:

Following up on my previous point, is if there is a base, and alien material all around is available by stripping parts of their ships to build a base, and then smaller ships. And typically you see small ships at first, no matter the difficulty. Small scout first, then medium sized to large. My thought, and then question, is this, could it be possible that the ships that were shot down, in the previous point, were small sized scout ships, that were possible part of a large fleet, and that fleet was what actually got onto earth, and they used the fleet to build smaller craft, weapons, etc. at first, while Mars was sending reinforcement waves, that we didn't see at all?

If you look at the UFO's via conventional radar or hyperwave decoder, all of them start out at very fast and very high, which means they entered the atmosphere of Earth from space. Extend this, and it's quite clear the UFOs are coming from space and therefore, from Mars specifically. If a fleet was somewhere on earth it would probably be a base somewhere on land... the UFOs would start out very slow and very low. That isn't what happens. Posted Image

View PostSgt. Strike, on 09 September 2013 - 06:37 AM, said:

My next point is a bit of a tough one. Could it be that the aliens, and then the humans, use one of two, or even both methods, of getting to Earth? Allow me to explain in depth. One method is that the aliens coming to Earth, and the humans going to Mars, are placed in a suspended animation type thing, and the ship, with a decent, and careful, AI, then guides the ship, with help from it's parent planet, to the planet it needs to get to. Of course, this would be a craft capable of getting to, and maintaining, almost light speed. The reason I say AI is that no human, or most aliens, can't handle the amount of g forces involved. There are other things to also add to this. And I could go one about various methods. I just covered the simplest one. Think of slingshot here, as well.
Second method to getting to Mars, or Earth, is using faster than light. Not instantaneous, but it can be faster than the previous method. And may not need the preparation that the previous method needs.
I could be wrong, or things go different, etc. on how they are getting to their respective planets, but I am throwing some ideas out.

At our current technology, we can get to Mars via conventional rockets in what, a year or so? Why would you need suspended animation? I'm sure the aliens live longer than a year. And again, with the timeframe of about a year to get to Mars, why would you need a craft capable of near light speed? Sure, it would cut down the trip significantly, but it isn't absolutely necessary. At near the speed of light, passengers on the ship would not experience the passage of time as earthlings would and thus would not age much, so even if the aliens were using it, the occupants wouldn't need to be placed in suspended animation except to maybe conserve on food/supplies. Maintaining speed in space is dead easy - once you get to your target velocity you can coast to your destination without using any more fuel.

You have a point about g-forces, but if your acceleration is slow but steady you wouldn't necessarily need any special restraints or outfits to protect against blackout or injury. Also, the aliens are using gravity wave propulsion which is supposedly different from conventional technologies. Bob Lazar said it best: "The craft does not create an 'anti-gravity' field, as some have supposed. It's a gravitational field that's out of phase with the current one. It's the same gravitational wave. The phases vary from 180 degrees to zero... in a longitudinal propagation". In effect, when the propulsion unit is turned on, it pulls a point of space to you. When you turn off the unit, you instantly are at the location you wanted. The out-of-phase gravitational wave the craft produces "isolates" the occupants from g-forces as space itself is moved (actually bent is a better term) to the craft.

A lot of this is just conjecture, with no real scientific basis. But hey, it's an imagined game and the devs did what they wanted. Posted Image

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#54 Zombie

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 01:11 AM

Well, the IUPAC has basically given the go-ahead to name the last four placeholder elements in the periodic table with proper names - which includes Element 115: Ununpentium, aka Elerium. Posted Image



Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff mentioned in the video Moscovium for 115, This is by no means set in stone as the group in Dubna can basically name it anything they want as they synthesized it first. Moscovium might be a tough sell as Molybdenum's chemical symbol is Mo. Dubnium would be a better choice, but 105 is named that already. So we'll see what pans out later in the year. Posted Image

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#55 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 09:32 AM

Hmm. Maybe someone should write to the good professor. He may be an XCOM fan with a poor memory, perhaps.
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#56 Space Voyager

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 09:56 AM

Handwavium is being used a lot. Why not give it an actual atom?! ;)

#57 silencer_pl

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 10:16 AM

View PostBomb Bloke, on 07 January 2016 - 09:32 AM, said:

Hmm. Maybe someone should write to the good professor. He may be an XCOM fan with a poor memory, perhaps.

If only this element was in fact super energy efficient.
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

#58 magic9mushroom

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 11:26 AM

View PostEclipseDog, on 16 March 2004 - 06:39 PM, said:

\People keep commenting on how outside earth's atmosphere it wouldn't take as much effort to travel since there is no resistance. Okay... umm but wouldn't that make it harder for the aliens since they are relying on gravity and anti-gravity propulsion systems? If there is no gravity to push against exactly how can it move anywhere using a gravity requiring system? Better question.. how come none of you even thought of that?

???

Arbitrary control over gravity lets you thrust in space just as easily as it lets you hover on a planet.

View PostZombie, on 17 March 2004 - 09:45 PM, said:

It is true that the domino effect changes things we could not possibly forsee. The meteorite that slammed into Jupiter probably had no effect on it's mass, inertial rotation or elliptical path though. Why? Point One: Many scientists believe that Jupiter does not have an actual "surface", or if it does, only a very small core of solid metallic hydrogen. The meteroite would never cause an impact because it would simply "burn up" in Jupiter's very dense (and deep) atmosphere. Point Two: It was not really a meteorite but rather a comet that met its demise (Shoemaker-Levy). Comets are loosly compacted objects consisting mostly of empty space, dust and ice with hardly any mass. When this comet encountered Jupiter's gravitational pull, it broke apart into many smaller pieces. Point Three: The mass of this comet was miniscule compared to Jupiter's mass. Even an object the size of our moon would have little or no effect.

Explosions (such as volcanoes or atomic bombs) that happen on a planets surface do nothing to change it's orbit. The atmosphere will absorb most of the kinetic energy as friction, dissipating any "thrust" it could produce. An explosion in space could possibly change an orbit or cause a planet to "wobble", but most scientists agree that this would have to be a pretty big blast to cause any serious damage, especially with a planetary-sized object.
Your points 1 and 2 are mistaken. Burning up in the atmosphere does not negate impulse, because the atmosphere is bound and transmits that impulse to the planet. The same reason, in fact, why explosions on the ground don't change a planet's orbit, because the atmosphere impulse exactly cancels the ground impulse. Shoemaker-Levy 9 did alter Jupiter's momentum and increase its mass, but as SL9's own mass was roughly 1,500,000,000,000 kg and Jupiter's is 1,899,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg, the course alteration was rather small.

View PostZombie, on 14 March 2004 - 11:23 PM, said:

On average, Earth is 48,600,000 miles from Mars. So let us assume a one-month trip to get to Earth is a tolerable amount of time. To get a speed out of this you need to divide 48,600,000 miles by 730.5 (the average number of hours in an average month in an average year). The result is 66,530 mph, 107,069 kph, 57,813 knots, or over Mach 87.5! NASA's space shuttle returns from earths orbit at a speedy Mach 25 but this is nowhere near the Mach 88 average sustainable velocity necessary to reach Earth in one month!

View PostZombie, on 18 March 2004 - 03:02 AM, said:

While it is true that the escape velocity of Mars is 9740 knots, it is not Mach 15! Mach numbers depend upon the speed of sound at a certain planet. The speed of sound is also dependant upon the temperature at that altitude. The latest news about this says that the atmosphere of Mars is 1/10 that of Earth! Therefore the true speed of sound is roughly 1/10 of 15 or Mach 1.5! For a fascinating discussion about flying on Mars visit www.x-plane.com/mars.html
Posted Image

The speed of sound in space is rather fast (I've seen 100 km/s quoted), although trying to assign Mach numbers gets kinda weird (the interplanetary medium is blown outward by the solar wind at about 400 km/s; as such, essentially everything moving at ordinary speeds relative to the Sun is moving at Mach > 1 relative to the local IPM) so it's not really worth bothering. The speed of sound on Mars is slower than on Earth, around 240 m/s, not 10 times faster.

Also, orbital mechanics are complicated.

View PostPumpkinhead, on 18 March 2004 - 04:14 AM, said:

Does this mean that Mach numbers cannot be used in space as sound cannot travel there?
It can, actually. Space isn't a perfect vacuum; interplanetary space is filled with the solar wind. The issue is that most "slow" space velocities (like planetary orbits or boost-and-coast transfer orbits) are much lower than the radial velocity of the solar wind, making Mach numbers kinda pointless since they're relative to the frame of the fluid and said frame isn't particularly relevant to anything else.

(For instance, the Earth's orbital speed is roughly 30 km/s, only 30% of the 100 km/s speed of sound in space. But the Earth's Mach number is still roughly 4, because the solar wind is moving outward at 400 km/s and the Earth isn't.)

View PostBladeFireLight, on 24 March 2004 - 04:27 AM, said:

I thought by adjusting the number on nutrons it was posible to have a stable atom.. like depleted uranium

-Blade FireLight
Not quite. For any given mass number (number of protons + number of neutrons) there is a given ratio of protons to neutrons such that the nucleus will not undergo beta decay (essentially protons turning into neutrons or vice versa). However, as nuclei get larger (higher mass number), they start to expel protons and neutrons via alpha decay (emitting a helium nucleus, with two protons and two neutrons); no ratio of protons to neutrons can prevent this, although it affects the rate at which it occurs.

Depleted uranium is essentially as radioactive as natural uranium, by the way. It's just less useful for nuclear fission in bombs or reactors.

View PostZombie, on 14 August 2005 - 11:32 PM, said:

Look at it this way. The Avenger has 2 power sources and can go 5400 knots. The only UFO's with 2 power sources are the Harvester (4000 knots) and the Abductor (4300 knots). Both are slightly wider than an Avenger. Now look at the number of levels each ship occupies: 3 for Harvester, 2 for Abductor, and either 2 or 1 for the Avenger (one level of the Avenger is where almost all of the mass resides). Take these facts into consideration and you can see that the Avenger isn't too far off in terms of efficiency.

Comparing the Avenger to the Battleship is like comparing apples to oranges. The battleship has 4 power sources; yet can only manage 5000 knots. Hmmm. Why don't we look at the number of knots each craft can manage per power source:

Craft Speed Engines Speed/Engine
Small Scout 2200 0 N.A.
Medium Scout 2400 1 2400
Large Scout 2700 1 2700
Harvester 4000 2 2000
Abductor 4300 2 2150
Terror Ship 4800 4 1200
Battleship 5000 4 1250
Supply Ship 3200 3 1067
Avenger 5400 2 2700
The Avenger is one of the top-performing craft at speed per engine. True, the Battleship must lug around much more weight than an Avenger does (in fact, the Battleship is 3 times larger). Therefore, the Battleship should get about 3750 knots per engine for a total craft speed of 15000 knots if reduced to the size of an Avenger.

Still, the Avenger is faster than any 2-power source UFO's out there. Actually, it is the fastest ship in X-COM. Period.  Posted Image

- Zombie
Top speed is determined by the point at which drag exceeds thrust (at these kind of speeds, you'd normally have to worry about your hull ablating under drag heat, but Alien Alloys). As such, engine power would be roughly proportional to area * speed^2 for a given efficiency. An Avenger would have a required thrust of 10*5400*5400 = 291,600,000 arbitrary units, while a Battleship would have a required thrust of 75*5000*5000 = 1,875,000,000 units - significantly more than double the Avenger's. The Abductor would have a drag of 30*4300*4300 = 554,700,000 units.





I suspect that the presumed significant time for the Avenger to reach Mars is why you lose if you fail Cydonia; the war goes on during the trip and gets worse for X-Com. Also means they don't actually have to specify the time it takes for the Avenger to get there (if you could continue, the date would have to be adjusted).

#59 Zombie

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 01:17 AM

Today is a pretty special day in chemistry and (to a lesser extent) X-COM as 4 elements have been given names. As always, here's the announcement from Periodic Videos:

  • 113 : Nihonium (Nh) (Boron group, but probably metalloid or a metal)
  • 115 : Moscovium (Mc) (Nitrogen group, but probably metalloid or a metal)
  • 117 : Tennessine (Ts) (Halogen)
  • 118 : Oganesson (Og) (Noble gas)
There is a period of 6 months for review of the names and symbols where changes could still be made but these are pretty much a lock I'd imagine. Posted Image

- Zombie

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JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#60 Tsathoggua

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 03:11 AM

Depleted uranium is uranium which has had the isotopes that are fissionable in an easy manner, unstable that is to say,  and as such capable of sustaining a chain reaction removed.. Natural uranium as we would get if extracting and processing ore to yellowcake (not a mere few hobbyists have done it. Some have done it much more responsible than others. I've seen some rather nightmarish videos on youtube at the worst end of the scale perhaps, has to be the bugger that was doing it in by his family swimming pool, drying it with a space heater, saying 'this is fine, I've turned the fan unit off and am heating it only', not exact words, I forget his precise phrasing.But what he was drying, by the pool, was the results of processing large quantities of natural uranium ore he'd hacked out of the ground himself, and refined to yellowcake, and thence, proceeding with concentrating it as much as possible, before intending to isolate the mixed isotopic fraction containing the uranium, and IIRC going for uranium metal. Sloppy safety procedures, shockingly, shockingly so. I would NEVER countenance his behaviour in my own laboratory. This mind you, is my own, privately owned lab, which I have been working on ever since I was a youngish child. My old man  was kind and generous enough to not only PERMIT me to have, at before age ten, I forget the exact age I started out with my chemistry and biotech (and to a lesser extent, physics, but mostly the former, plus mycology, which my old man, tells me I started out, as a rank beginner of course, by teaching myself to read using Roger Phillips' textbook, when I presumably must have seen it somewhere and begged my dad for my own copy, because it had lots and lots of microscopy information and some on the use of chemical reagents (I substituted homemade butyl chloral hydrate, aka the sedative-hypnotic drug chlorbutol, occasionally as as preservative also, in making my Melzer's reagent, since at the time I found making chloral hydrate itself too difficult because it requires a photocatalytic reaction, direct chlorination of ethanol using gaseous Cl2. The photocatalysis was the bit that got in my way, since I had no quartz glassware and couldn't of course afford it as a nipper with mere pocket money income, substituted by what I could raise, by stripping as many bunches of blossom off cherry trees as many as could be obtained, and walking round the town I live in selling them door to door for a modest price, ten pence a little sprig, 50 a nice bunch of flowers, a pound coin in request for a really big clump. And of course, I knew even then that because of my age, people would applaud a child's efforts to earn himself a bit of extra pocket money, and they often did, to my calculating mind and child's innocent delight mixed together (oxymoron? no, thats auties for you, I'm Kanner's), by giving me some more than I'd ask for, not reliably every time but a large fraction did indeed calculate my then wee anklebiter-ness and age in the equation, although mind you NOW I know that THEY probably did not see it as an equation. Sometimes if I was VERY lucky I even got a five pound note, once or twice a tenner even, but only a handful of times in my total 'career' as a door-to-door flower sales'man' Posted ImageWhat they DIDN'T and could not possibly have had a clue about, was that heard worked for money (I'd do this after returning home from school when the flowers werein season, and I would immediately go out and start stripping the trees, cherry was the species chosen for the chance to get both pink and white both, which went for  a higher going rate by list price, and also a higher chance of being given a larger sum than was to be charged as the minimum sum in order to make purchase., and then I would spend until I had to come in at night, going out as late as would be acceptable to call on people I did not know, and canvass every last single door withinthe range I could walk, or when I was given my own bicycle, that I could transport a movable lot per shipment I guess one could call it, and do all the estates and roadsthat I could get to, offload of cargo and return to my stash of flowers to reload and start flogging once again)The bit the kind folks (elderly were especially generous more commonly, sometimes even refusing flowers but giving me a sum of their choosing on their volition just for my trying so hard and being such a good kind kid..)Well I was. but I wanted the money to call on the pharmacies, for peroxide, KMnO4, MgSO4, iodine tincture, clean bicarb not full of garbage like rice flour in the crap sold as baking powder), the beer homebrew store for sodium metabisulfite, garden centers a RICH mine of all sorts, ammonium sulfate for generation of ammonia gas, copper sulfate if I got lucky, a goldmine of chlorate weedkiller that could be cleaned via fractional crystallization to strip out the salt, although I ended up just passing chlorine gas through hot, concentrated aqueous NaOH, from the hardware stores in prilled solid form, ammonia in dilute solution, that I'd then saturate using the garden center sulfate salt. Sulfuric acid drain cleaners, hydrochloric as muriatic acid, sometimes respectably concentrated to 30%, the sulfuric either 93 or 98% dependent upon brand although some has a crappy purple dye in it), car cold weather starting fluid that one sprays into the air intake, thats a mixture of diethyl ether, heptane and diisopropyl ether in some brands, which I'd separate via fractional distillation, the EtOEt comes off first, then the DIPE, then lastly the small portion of heptane, leaving behind a bit of high boiling lubricant muck in the still pot, although one NEVER lets an ether still boil to dryness, for it concentrates any peroxide or hydroperoxides, the exception being dimethyl ether which is a very very volatile, cryogen, gaseous at RT. But didn't know as a kid, didn't have lab manuals, only basic textbooks and lists of chemicals and reactions that I'd get from the local library and just take out and renew and renew and renew until (nobody ever did actually) someone would want the books. The specific book most useful to me I pretty much had on ownership-via-free-loan on a more or less permanent basis and just took it back for stamping every now and then ahahaha)So yeah, I've been at it for a long time, I'm turning thirty in a few days, and its been one long, solid period of living, eating, drinking, occasionally getting high off, well more than occasionally lol, shitting and pretty much everything else-ing  chem and biotech. You might well say I'd been, as a kid, obsessed. Well again, I have a license to have been. And I just never stopped being deep into it as a hobby. Spent, and still DO spend every penny that doesn't go to buy food on reagents and glassware. Well, and the odd bag of weed or H, if I want more of the latter than comes as a result of seasonal poppy grows and processing)But god damn, this guy on youtube, look around, he's doing this in his family shed, right beside the pool, spouting on about how he's all safe because he's blocked up the door, closed the windows. Then processing all this refined frickin yellowcake right beside the family pool! Absolutely astonishing how blase and how much, frankly of a poster child for everything bad ever said by chemo-phobic politician bell ends.And I would NEVER, EVER allow that to have taken place using any of my own facilities.But I will say this much. DEPLETED uranium, consists of almost entirely 238U, which is not spontaneously fissionable using slow/thermal neutrons, and cannot be used for an atom bomb. Although it is capable of absorbing a neutron and being transmuted in the right (or in some hands entirely the wrong) procedures, to plutonium, as the long lived and if pure, quite capable of being used by shitheads with bomb aspirations (and yes I include governments in this category. I take interest in the physics, but have no interest in my own physics PACKAGE. Not in the sense of a bomb. Although IMO only the most sophisticated groups of trash would be capable of actually utilizing even 100% pure weapons grade lookie-here-gets-a-gold-star kablooie fuel, the implosion physics required for plutonium based (like the 'fat man' device used against japan, the other one, 'little boy' being a uranium 'gun' type device, basically, on the most primitive explanation level, shooting one correctly shaped piece of uranium, of sub-critical mass into another rightly shaped sub critical mass down what amounts to a cannon with the impact target inside. Whack two subcritical masses together to get a critical mass, spontaneous fission, and boom goes the dynamite. So to speak.Natural uranium has factors working against it however being used for this by all but the sophisticated (read EXTREMELY well funded and damn smart jihadist types who would also have excellent scientists working for them, ex iraqi weapons scientists selling their knowledge on the black market, etc. MAYBE, but again onlya miniscule proportion of natural uranium is fissionable. At least directly, sans isotopic transmutation. Governments or vermin working for them at this aim is another kettle of aquatoids. It consists almost entirely of the stable isotope uranium 238. Some 235U and 233U. 235 is the one sought after for people wanting bloody big fireworks. Its fissionable with neutron bombardment, and also on the compression of a nuclear device's 'pit', once a neutron hits an atom of uranium's fissionable isotopes what happens is that atom will fragment, assuming absorption of the neutron, which must be within the correct energy range. Split apart into two lighter daughter nuclides, whilst emitting a lot of energy, and more neutrons than went into fissioning the initial atom. Now it doesn't take much working out to see what happens in the context of a quantity of atoms, be it a few individual atoms close enough in a hypothetical, pedagogical context to assume 100% efficiency which IRL is NOTHING like the case, only a tiny proportion, IIRC its on the order of grams, for multiple tens of kilogram pits actually undergoes fission the rest gets vaporised by the blast and in some cases transmuted to other elements, the initial discovery, if I remember right, although its been a while since I concentrated on physics, more a chem, bio and in particular  toxicology, pharmacology/neuropharmacology and psychopharmacology, medical tech and developments, and natural history (the last often goes with the others, for many, many fascinating, and on the odd occasion, rather awful experiences....cough..accidental anticholinesterase poisoning once....things are to be found in all sorts of natural organisms and even inorganic natural processes) guy really, but also compulsive, knowledge-addict and polymath in general, I take interest in almost everything, bar mathematics, for that is a true struggle for me, being dyscalculic. Odd hobby and interest set you'd  say,I cannot disagree with that, hell I think so myself.  Being Kanner's (otherwise termed the classic variant, as opposed to aspie, or in girl's, Rett's syndrome, although I only know one of the latter, and she is only the damn smartass she is because shes a chimaera, partial expression of the gene coding for the MECP2 protein that when deleted or even slapped about with, as the protein in particular is very sensitive to levels of expression, too much, too little=trouble. Its embryonic lethal in males with the usual XY karyotype, only survivable in cases of klinefelter's etc. where the karyotype is XXY. My Rett's friend, she got lucky, as it USUALLY disables, non ambulant, nonverbal, severity variable but usually severe mental retardation...this girl bucks the trend in every way more or less...teaches dance to special needs kids, is an absolute genius mentally, very, very intelligent, and with a smartass, smartmouthed razor wit, and if needs be, such as directed against the likes of autism speaks, good god, NOT a girl I'd like to go up against, the tongue lashings she can give to the deserving are a true sight to see. They'd leave not scars, but gouges down to the periosteum, and compound fractures, heavy blood loss. Hell, a tonguewhipping from this lass, hehe, I'd want her with me taking down a bug-filled base, either as a psionic specialist, or just to go in armed with that tongue, never mind a blaster launcher or plasma cannon. I could well see her slicing chryssalids and sectopods, cyberdisks alike to ribbons just with her funny-as-hell sarcasm (yes, I admit, fell for her pretty much the moment we spoke, although we are too far apart for..well. Damn is all I can say...frickin' stunner too. Never mind the shock prods...Posted Image)And I think that those tendencies being born and innate to me really, or as close as. Picked  up the interests before I could practice the science behind them which was frustrating, but got started very early on. Still am supported by the old man in it all, this year's birthday present was £100, specifically to outfit the lab with equipment, and last year's was a new vacuum pump. Occasionally get things like dessicators, my autoclave, donated to me when he's done with whatever he wanted them for, knowing I will get a lot more out of them than he ever could with them seeing maybe odd use now and then. Whereas my bloody-mindedness and set-on-my-path type-ness is what I think, counters not the difficulty but what might otherwise be offputting for many others. Because I just won't take my dyscalculia telling me 'no you can't, Tsath'' for an answer. No way in hell. Not now, not as a kid, and not ever.And as for natural uranium, from yellowcake, as the metal, its pretty high in counts,  although no use to bomb makers, aside from scum that just want to spread fear and panic with so called 'dirty bombs', spreading radiological muck like shit on a farmers field.Depleted uranium on the other hand really isn't that radioactive.  Its not NICE, mind you, but you can safely hold it in your hand. At least, as long as one remains aware that it is INCREDIBLY heavy and dense. Tungsten doesn't get a look in.   The main hazards with DU, are its effects as a heavy metal (in the toxicological sense, like mercury, lead, cadmium, thallium and other such elements, I'd include arsenic, and it fits, although its not always a metal, depending on the allotrope, and even thenmore often metalloid)DU is primarily a kidney toxicant, although known to build up longterm in bones, as does plutonium, which however does not have a suitably nonradioactive isotope for anymans lower-level citizen chemists to fuck about with, assuming they aren't more interested in the nuclear physics than the chemistry of the element.Low, low level alpha emitter, internally not pleasant, but its not a hot isotope at all really. (238U this applies to, aka depleted uranium)Another nasty thing about it though is trying to machine the stuff. It'll catch fire in fine particles, and shavings are unnerving, during the cutting etc, sawing (FORGET using hand tools, power tool job, so lots of friction lots of heat. Its just too hard, and too dense to make a damn dent in the stuff otherwise. Metal fires are bastardsto deal with. Water is likely to make them worse due to the intense heat splitting it apart into H and O, CO2 can be dangerous with E.g magnesium, lithium, calcium fires that kind of thing and presumably just as much so with uranium. Although I've only ever done anything like that whilst blanketing a piece to be cut with a stream of argon to serve as an inert gas and prevent oxygen coming into contact with the bulk of the metal being tooled.Thats part, along with the density, of the reason its used for kinetic energy penetrators, armor piercing rounds of the high velocity type, because when a sharp slug of DU hits E.g a tank (or alien submarine when used as a penetrator to drill a hole before the explosive charge of the D.U.P head torpedoes launched against the subs follow up, like a tandem charge, in likeness not in the way DUP heads are presented. though) hits the armor plate of a tank, its pyrophoric nature, and hardness, denseness, in punching a hole through the armor, and as it travels, the mechanical shear forces experienced by the round cause it to self-sharpen as it travels through the enemy tank, or whatever other strong, tough, resistant materials, whereas tungsten, the other frequent metal used in kinetic energy penetrator rounds, mushrooms out, like a regular lead bullet against body armor would.And the really nasty thing, lots of fine toxic DU dust aside is it ignites, and cooks the occupants of the tank alive, as well as consuming oxygen. Not pretty, as a weapon. Effective, but downright nasty. I would still love to get my hands on some genuine DU penetrator rods though. No need or want for the actual rounds, or cannons, just the metal staballoy penetrator rods, some for a display piece in an element collection, and some to separate out the other elements and reshape it as E.g things like arc-melted beads, foil, fine powder for exploration in chemistry contexts. Sandwich compounds like uranocene are intriguing. Bet, although this I haven't looked into theres probably a few niche catalysts to be had somewhere. Uranyl nitrate and acetate are available easily enough in quantity, but I SPECIFICALLY do not want natural uranium for this kind of exploration, and IIRC the photochemical supplies are probably natural uranium given the effect of radiaction upon film stock.I forget the name of the thread, one by Sp1ke, I think, about the naming by IUPAC of the transuranics. Possibly were I was suggesting that stuff about rydberg matter and eka-astatine. Aka, provisionally, tennesine. I can't say as I like the name really, it doesn't roll off the tongue like those for the other halogens, which are well thought out and come from their qualities, rather than merely named to honor something. Such as bromine for instance, coming from the ancient greek word 'bromos' meaning 'stench', which is most certainly applicable to bromine, although I do not particularly loathe its smell.So, this is Tsathoggua, and his introduction. He wonders if X-com are hiring in dual combat-science team roles behind the scenes. That would be ideal:D *chuckles*All the better to blow your head off 'mr' sectoid, with my latest off-duty time science project.....Posted Image




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